Author Topic: This has gone far enough!  (Read 3765 times)

Offline Robert

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This has gone far enough!
« on: May 29, 2019, 01:15:47 PM »
From an AP article:


"I personally am not a fan of ridiculous brews incorporating materials and gimmicks that have no historical provenance in brewing," said Charlie Bamforth, a distinguished professor emeritus in the food science and technology department of the University of California, Davis.
Bamforth said laws restricting ingredients — like Germany has — might be going a bit too far. But he would like to see some regulations defining what can and can't be called "beer."
"If someone wants to explore bizarre components, then I think they should do it under the umbrella of alternative beverages and not be allowed to sully the good name of beer," he said.
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Offline denny

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 02:05:43 PM »
Hear hear!
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2019, 05:59:32 PM »
Who owns "Beer"? Who's history is the right one for "beer"? There's a lot of historical context for using barley, wheat, sorghum, rye, rice, corn, and oats. Lots of ancient brews used hops or spices. I believe Lithuanians made beer from bread, which you can argue lends to using pop tarts or cereal as a starch/sugar source.

What's ridiculous in beer? Give me a clear rule on how to decide what beer is that doesn't arbitrarily exclude brewing history from across the world and I'll happily concede.

Offline Black Lion Homebrewery

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 06:20:41 PM »
Who owns "Beer"? Who's history is the right one for "beer"? There's a lot of historical context for using barley, wheat, sorghum, rye, rice, corn, and oats. Lots of ancient brews used hops or spices. I believe Lithuanians made beer from bread, which you can argue lends to using pop tarts or cereal as a starch/sugar source.

What's ridiculous in beer? Give me a clear rule on how to decide what beer is that doesn't arbitrarily exclude brewing history from across the world and I'll happily concede.

From what I've seen the closest definition of beer is a fermented, grain-based beverage.  Never understood what it matters if someone decides to throw a bushel of twinkies into their brew.  Don't like it, then don't drink it. 

Offline a10t2

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 09:02:24 PM »
What's ridiculous in beer? Give me a clear rule on how to decide what beer is that doesn't arbitrarily exclude brewing history from across the world and I'll happily concede.

Bud Light Straw-Beer-Lime-a-Rita. Line in the sand.
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Offline ethinson

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2019, 07:41:51 PM »
What's ridiculous in beer? Give me a clear rule on how to decide what beer is that doesn't arbitrarily exclude brewing history from across the world and I'll happily concede.

Bud Light Straw-Beer-Lime-a-Rita. Line in the sand.

Depending on what guidelines you go by, the "Ritas" are already not beer.  There's a legal distinction between "Beer" (often listed on labels as ALE, even for lager beers) and FMB or Flavored Malt Beverage. They are taxed differently. 

A lot of what's hot in the market right now that gets lumped into "Beer" for trade publications, Mike's Hard, all of the hard seltzers and hard kombucha's are legally "not beer".  It's a weird gray area though when it comes to the TTB. 

Of course, based on the OP, a 12% imperial stout with lactose, strawberries, chocolate, coffee and poptarts is still beer.... LOL
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Offline Joe T

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2019, 10:06:50 AM »
I started drinking beer because it was fun. I moved to drinking craft beer because I love exploring the endless variety and I love the good vibes of the community.
I really don't care about some old, curmudgeonly macro brewer's divisive comments but... when he says that there needs to be "regulations", what he is effectively saying is: "If someone puts pop tarts in a pilsner and labels it beer, I want men with guns to show up and at that brewer's door and force him to stop." Any time men with guns show up to force someone to comply with a regulation, there's a chance someone gets killed. Over "beer." A word.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2019, 11:04:43 AM »
I think this would be a much needed change, and if craft beer doesn't get behind it things will get ugly.

Here's why: "Appealing to underage drinkers."

That gets stuck on anything that bucks the norm, and it'll force craft breweries making actual beer that is fruity (NEIPA? Anyone?) to deal with that moniker as well.

I see now that DewClaw has a "Unicorn Fart" beer, with actual glitter, that I'm surprised was allowed to be sold based on how much it appears to be marketed to teens. Sure, it's DewClaw, it's all tongue in cheek...but one teen gets killed driving drunk after drinking it, and every craft brewer will suffer.

Throw these weird non-traditional beer items into another category. Oh wait! We have one: Malt Beverage.

I fail to see the difference between a Mike's Hard and some of the recent swill I see on shelves. Except where it's made. Not judging folks for drinking their preference, but let's call a duck a duck.
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Offline denny

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2019, 02:24:29 PM »
I started drinking beer because it was fun. I moved to drinking craft beer because I love exploring the endless variety and I love the good vibes of the community.
I really don't care about some old, curmudgeonly macro brewer's divisive comments but... when he says that there needs to be "regulations", what he is effectively saying is: "If someone puts pop tarts in a pilsner and labels it beer, I want men with guns to show up and at that brewer's door and force him to stop." Any time men with guns show up to force someone to comply with a regulation, there's a chance someone gets killed. Over "beer." A word.
Go suck foam, Charlie.

If you keep reading he says that he doesn't want regulations.  And nowhere is there a hyperbolic mention of "men with guns".
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Offline denny

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2019, 02:25:14 PM »
Who owns "Beer"? Who's history is the right one for "beer"? There's a lot of historical context for using barley, wheat, sorghum, rye, rice, corn, and oats. Lots of ancient brews used hops or spices. I believe Lithuanians made beer from bread, which you can argue lends to using pop tarts or cereal as a starch/sugar source.

What's ridiculous in beer? Give me a clear rule on how to decide what beer is that doesn't arbitrarily exclude brewing history from across the world and I'll happily concede.

Glitter
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Offline Joe T

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2019, 04:47:13 PM »
I started drinking beer because it was fun. I moved to drinking craft beer because I love exploring the endless variety and I love the good vibes of the community.
I really don't care about some old, curmudgeonly macro brewer's divisive comments but... when he says that there needs to be "regulations", what he is effectively saying is: "If someone puts pop tarts in a pilsner and labels it beer, I want men with guns to show up and at that brewer's door and force him to stop." Any time men with guns show up to force someone to comply with a regulation, there's a chance someone gets killed. Over "beer." A word.
Go suck foam, Charlie.

If you keep reading he says that he doesn't want regulations.  And nowhere is there a hyperbolic mention of "men with guns".

"But he would like to see some regulations defining what can and can't be called "beer.'"

Regulations are enFORCED by policemen(men with guns). Noncompliance with even the simplest misdemeanor CAN escalate to violence and death. All due respect to LEOs who enforce the important laws that keep us safe.

What people need to realize is that when you say we need a law, you are asking the state to coerce someone with the threat of violence. Is this what you want? Because you don't like someone's use of a word?

Why all the hate over glitter beer, NEIPA, pumpkin beer, milkshake IPA, etc.? What happened to the good vibes microbrew community I fell in love with? Why can't we just let people enjoy what they enjoy and be happy for them? Why does craft beer have to be so divisive? Just drink what you like and let the free market sort out the rest.

Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2019, 05:42:08 PM »
Regulations are enFORCED by policemen(men with guns). Noncompliance with even the simplest misdemeanor CAN escalate to violence and death. All due respect to LEOs who enforce the important laws that keep us safe.

What people need to realize is that when you say we need a law, you are asking the state to coerce someone with the threat of violence. Is this what you want? Because you don't like someone's use of a word?

I think this a bit extreme.  There are already regulations on what can/cannot be on a beer (or other unspecified beverage) label.  Even if regulations were established regarding what can be called "beer", what would result are rejected beer label designs when the content isn't compliant.  A fine if there's something on your label that isn't allow to be there.  But that's already the case.

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Offline mainebrewer

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2019, 08:29:18 PM »
I don't drink, brew or buy bizarre beer (my bizarre may not be the same as other people's bizarre).
I don't see the need to use bizarre ingredients in brewing beer since there are so many interesting combinations of malt, hops and yeast.
But, I don't really care if some brewery makes bizarre beer or if all their beer is bizarre. If they succeed great, if not, then the market place has culled out the weak. 
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Offline Robert

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Re: This has gone far enough!
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2019, 09:00:27 PM »


Weird, I had some similar thoughts.
http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/brewing-methods/reinheitsgebot-what-is-it-and-why-its-important-to-me/

I started homebrewing (this is my 30th year) because I knew I wouldn't  be able to get a decent, well made, fresh beer when I returned to this country, excepting standard American lager (which is still in my fridge at all times, mind you.)  Briefly, around that time, the nascent new brewery movement gave me hope that the situation was going to change.  Then it all very quickly went off the rails somehow.  Rant on, Bryan.  You and I probably disagree on a lot of specifics, but the principle that there must be principles, and that solid, fundamental knowledge and skills must underpin the brewing industry, still applies.  In my home brewery I can't, due to practical constraints, necessarily meet every single ideal goal required of a professional brewery (and we can still dispute what those are, based on differing traditions and end products, and we won't talk about your brewery.)  But I seem to come a lot closer, or at least know better what those goals are, than most who have the audacity to charge good money for their, um, "beer," and I do really like my beer, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of "craft" "beer."  So here we are 30 years later.

The German accommodation  worked out with the EU actually sounds a lot like what Charlie (whose meat and potatoes has been the kind of adaptive quality and process control you emphasize) was suggesting.  You can put anything you want in a bottle, but you can't necessarily label it all as "beer."  As someone mentioned, we do already have something like this.  Malternatives, or what Jim Koch is calling "beyond beer" ventures.  But drawing the lines is not something I'd want to attempt.

BTW Bryan, you probably don't read Ron Pattinson's blog (Shut up about Barclay Perkins,) but his increasing frustration with trying to find a drinkable, recognizable beer while he is in this country, ironically usually on invitation of craft brewers who want to promote education about traditional beer, would be amusing if it weren't actually quite worrying.  Think he'll blow a gasket soon. Or just go on straight whisk(e)y.
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